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England’s women win a test Down Under as they show boys how it’s done

England have successfully begun their fight to defend the Women’s Ashes and redeem the nation’s pride after the Men’s 5-0 loss. Adele Norris reports

England Women take a full six points from the opening match of the Women’s Ashes Series by claiming victory in the Test by 61 runs.

In the first day of the only test match in Perth Australia closed on nine for two in reply to England’s 201.

Charlotte Edwards chose to bat first at the Waca in Perth – where the men were recently dominated by 150 runs – but was third out to leave the side 32 for three.

Arran Brindle’s 68, and 49 from 21-year-old Test debutante Natalie Sciver, held England’s innings together to recover from 32-3

By the end of the match Australia had lost openers Elyse Villani and Meg Lanning to Anya Shrubsole.


But England were fighting not to let them get ahead, with Austalia leading by just 12 runs

England regained the Women’s Ashes 12-4 at home last summer following the introduction of a new points system.

It means the series is contested across all three formats of the game. A test win is worth six points while two points are given for each ODI and T20 victory.  That means England’s women need only win two out of the coming six ODI and T20 games and they bring home the Ashes.

The women have come into the competition still without spinners Laura Marsh, who is injured, and 24-year-old Holly Colvin, who has taken a break from the game.

Led by Charlotte Edwards in all three formats the team are happy to see the return of Katherine Brunt, Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole who missed the recent Tri-nation Twenty20 tour through injury.

And Shrubsole certainly wasn’t short of fighting spirit on her return. She claimed three wickets as England drew their two-day warm-up match with Australia A in Perth and intense summer heat.

Things certainly got warmer by Friday for the first day where temperatures reached 43 degrees but the biggest challenge came on Saturday played in 45 degree heat.

Australia v England - Women's Test Match
Australia v England – Women’s Test Match

A strong start from the England women could have put them in control but the English ladies lost three wickets early in their second dig.

Close of play left Australia on a high with England 18/3 leading by just 12 runs. Australia made 207.

Edwards was unable to open due to injuring her left knee and didn’t bat until five wickets had fallen.

Greenway filled in for Edwards but was the second of three wickets to fall in consecutive overs.

Arran Brindle and Nat Sciver managed to survive five overs under intense pressure.

Australia did slip to 37-5 thanks to test debute seamer Kate Cross who took two of the early wickets.

She kicked off her Test career by bowling a wicket maiden, clean-bowling Australia’s Jess Cameron for five.

Cross struck in her first two Test overs, having not conceded a run, and Katherine Brunt also broke through removing Sarah Elliott for 13.

Half way through the afternoon session Edwards was hurt and had to leave the field for the rest of the innings. Gunn filled in as captain.

England began to slump. Brunt was no-balled for a head-high full toss in her first over in the afternoon. I was her second no-ball and meant she could not bowl again for the rest of the innings.

Close of play on day two of the Test left Australia still on a high with England 18/3. Australia made 207 and England finished the day feeling frustrated.

In the third day Kate Cross continued to shine in her Ashes debut taking three wickets to move England Women into a stronger position.

Edwards hit a crucial half-century in England’s 190 all out and Cross added to her three first-innings wickets by removing Meg Lanning, Jess Cameron and Alex Blackwell.

After the break the England bowlers ramped up the pressure, delivering 29-successive dot balls to strangle the Australians.

Cross’ efforts continued and Australia slipped from 40 for one to 40 for four before losing another wicket before the close of play.

Australia v England - Women's Test Match, England celebrate
Australia v England – Women’s Test Match, England celebrate

Ahead of the forth day Edwards told ‘We’ve got ourselves in a really good position for tomorrow but it’s so important now that we are really ruthless. We weren’t as ruthless as we should have been in the first innings.’

England reduced Australia to 57-5 after setting the hosts 185 to win.

And ruthless they were. England Women got their Ashes defence off to the perfect start by wrapping up a victory in the sole Test on day four.

England claimed the final five wickets quickly as Australia fell to a 61-run defeat.

Anya Shrubsole got two key breakthroughs for the team: Perry hitting straight to square-leg for 31 and Erin Osborne offering a catch to cover off a leading edge.

Australia lost their third wicket for seven runs when Sarah Coyte was trapped lbw by Jenny Gunn.

Shrubsole achieved a third wicket bowling Rene Farrell.

Katherine Brunt closed the day castling Sarah Elliott for 29.

It finished England 201 and 190 vs. Australia 207 and 123.

Australia v England - Women's Test Match Day 4, Shrubsole celebrates.
Australia v England – Women’s Test Match Day 4, Shrubsole celebrates.

It means England have secured 6-0 points in the Ashes series ahead of the one-day internationals, which start on Sunday.

‘It’s an unbelievable feeling,’ Edwards told

‘I’m delighted. It’s been a really long four days, it’s been up and down, we’ve fought throughout and that’s the fight we’ve got within this team. To pull something off like that is absolutely fantastic. It’s one of my sweetest victories.’

Edwards praised Shrubsole for her finish with seven wickets in the match as well as celebrating the efforts of debutants Kate Cross and Natalie Sciver.

‘Kate Cross on debut – what a fantastic effort and Nat Sciver also on debut as well. These girls are coming into international cricket and performing straight away which is great to see.’

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